England's final preparation game for Euro 2000 did not go quite the way Kevin Keegan had planned, despite his side winning in Malta. He was hoping for more goals from his team but they didn't arrive in hatfulls. Keegan decided
to give his third goalkeeper his debut on foreign field but it didn't turn out such a great day for Ipswich Town's Richard Wright as he conceeded two penalties.
Malta made the more spritely start to this game but it was England who first slotted the ball into the net, however Kevin Phillips was off-side and Keown's goal was not given. Eleven minutes later Keown did score with a header from a Beckham free-kick but the visitors were still not looking comfortable in defence.
Just before 30 minutes of play Richard Wright gave away a penalty. The first penatly was converted, however the referee ordered the kick to be re-taken due to encroaching. Carabott's second attempt hit the post and went in off Wright's head. Two minutes before half-time Kevin Phillips put Shearer through on goal but Barry made a great save.
There seemed to be no improvement to England's defence after the interval as Turner broke through but he took too long with the ball and England recovered in time to block his shot. Shearer was replaced by Heskey 6 minutes into the second half with a minor injury. Fowler put the ball into Malta's net on 64 minutes but the goal is disallowed for Campbell committing a foul.
With 15 minutes remaining England regained the lead when Barmby delivered the ball for Heskey to knock the ball into the net. As the game drew to a close Malta unsettled England which resulted in Wright giving away another penalty. This time he saved the kick and England left Valletta with the victory.
Barry (Muscat 90), Said (Dimech 78), Spiteri (Okonkwo 78), Vella (Theuma 41), Debono (Camilleri 34), Buttigieg (Chetcuti 55), Busuttil (Nwoko 46),
Carabott (Ciantar 90), Turner (Veselji 87), Brincat (Holland 83), Aguis (Mallia 60).
Wright, G Neville, Keown (Southgate 59 mins), Campbell, P Neville, Beckham (Barry 80 mins), Wise (Ince 69 mins), Scholes (McManaman 69 mins), Barmby, Shearer (Heskey 51 mins), Phillips (Fowler 59 mins).
Subs Not Used: Martyn, Owen. (Full Squad)
Malta Goal: Wright og (29 mins)
England Goals: Keown (23 mins), Heskey (75 mins)(
Malta Cautions: Carabott, Theuma.
Referee: S Braschi (Italy)